Navistar Agrees to Pay $135 Million in Suit Over MaxxForce Engines

Navistar International truck
The logo is shown on the hood of an International truck in 2005. Navistar International Corp. has agreed to settle a class-action lawsuit involving its MaxxForce 11- and 13-liter diesel engines. (Associated Press)

Navistar International Corp. has agreed to settle a federal class-action lawsuit over the exhaust gas recirculation setups the company used on its previous MaxxForce 11-liter or 13-liter diesel engines, according to a news release from a law firm representing the plaintiffs.

Navistar chose exhaust gas recirculation over selective catalytic reduction to comply with U.S. emissions rules that took effect in 2010, but the EGR setups were plagued with problems. Navistar eventually launched a new lineup of engines that employ SCR setups. Navistar builds International trucks.

Navistar must pay out $135 million to class members under the proposed settlement, according to the law firm Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein of New York. The case was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois before Judge Joan Gottschall.

Jonathan Selbin, co-lead counsel for the plaintiffs, said he is happy with the choices the proposed settlement provides class members, and that Navistar, “stepped up to take care of its customers.”

Per the settlement, class members can choose a “no questions asked” cash payment of up to $2,500 per truck; a $10,000 rebate off of the best negotiated purchase price of a new truck; or provable out-of-pocket costs up to $15,000 per truck related to the EGR setup. The troubled system was developed under the company’s former management.

Navistar is taking a charge of $159 million in the second quarter of 2019 to address costs associated with liabilities and future potential settlements of litigation related to Class 8 models sold in the U.S. from 2011 through 2014 that had the 11- and 13-liter EGR engines, said Lyndi McMillan, Navistar director of business communication, in an email to Transport Topics.

“Navistar expects that this preliminary step toward the settlement of these U.S. class action lawsuits will accelerate our efforts to move past the MaxxForce 11-liter and 13-liter EGR engines in the United States,” McMillan said.

The proposed class will include all entities and persons who owned or leased a 2011, 2012, 2013 or 2014 model year vehicle equipped with a MaxxForce 11-liter or 13-liter engine certified to meet EPA 2010 emissions standards without SCR technology, provided that vehicle was purchased or leased in any of the 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and all other U.S. territories.

The proposed settlement must be approved by the court. If the court grants final approval, class members will have six months to make their elections and file a claim, according to Selbin.